Exercise has been shown to relieve the stress that we develop in our stressful work lives. An alternative way to relieve stress is to meditate. If you are like me, you find it difficult to have enough time in the day to mediate and exercise. So why not combine mediation and exercise? That is essence of Qigong
A former football coach of mine recently shared that he practices Qigong each morning as he has found the exercise to be a great way to loosen up his body and prepare himself to take on the day. As a young man, I learned quite a bit about fitness from this coach, so if he makes a recommendation, I listen.
I did my research and concluded that Qigong is an exercise all of us should be practicing every day.
What is Qigong?
I’ll quote directly from https://mindmonia.com/qigong/,
“Qigong is a natural way to move energy (Qi / Chi) through your body. It’s often used by Taoist and Buddhist monks, as well as traditional and Chinese healers. It doesn’t need to be practiced in a religious context and actually is considered and practiced as a beautiful art by countless people all over the world.”
“The concept of Qigong is based on meditation, breathing techniques, and gentle movements to move the “Qi” through your body.”
“The word “Qi” is difficult to translate. It comes from the traditional Chinese culture and means life energy, breath or mind. “Gong” means cultivation or mastery. Hence, the concept can be translated as “cultivation of life force” or “control of your own energy”.”
“As mentioned above, the concept is based on the basic principle of meditation and mindfulness and combines it with physical movements. This is why Qigong is often seen as “standing meditation”.”
Benefits of Qigong
The National Qigong Association proclaims the benefits of Qigong to be;
“Qigong opens the flow of energy in meridians used in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It enhances our ability to feel the Life Force underlying the physical world and to deepen our communication with it.”
“Physically, slow gentle qigong movements warm tendons, ligaments, and muscles; tonify vital organs and connective tissue; and promote circulation of body fluids (blood, synovial, lymph). Thousands of studies have shown qigong effective in helping to heal life challenges ranging from high blood pressure and chronic illness to emotional frustration, mental stress, and spiritual crisis.”
Who is a good fit for Qigong? EVERYONE is a good fit for Qigong. Folks who haven’t exercised in a while and want to start, folks who regularly exercise but want exercise that creates more flexibility, folks with injuries or chronic pain and need low impact need low impact, young people and seniors, are all a good fit to start a Qigong routine.
How to get started
I found a couple of resources for Qigong beginners.
Mindmonia has a complete guide for Qigong beginners. They provide a description of the exercise, benefits, and videos where you can follow along. https://mindmonia.com/qigong/
In this video, viewed over 3.6M times, is a 20 minute Qigong routine, and they do a good job of describing each exercise. While watching this video, I can see why Qigong is also considered to be a meditative exercise.
Fitness, Qigong, exercise, meditation, wide-body, stress, stress relief